sm200616-F-LN908-6708Members of the Wisconsin National Guard’s 1967th Contingency Contracting Team at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti during their recent deployment. The unit provided contracting support services to U.S. forces in the region. Pictured are, left to right: Capt. James Hedman, Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Clements, Capt. Gary Brown, Sgt. Brookelyn Nelson and Master Sgt. Zachary Tevis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Murakami)

A team of Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 1967th Contracting Team arrived safely on U.S. soil last week after an 11-month mobilization to the Horn of Africa.

The five-Soldier team returned to Fort Bliss, Texas where it will complete demobilization requirements before returning home to Wisconsin.

The specialized team, which is headquartered in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, mobilized in January and deployed to Djibouti where it served in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and helped acquire the supplies and equipment necessary for Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa to complete its mission.

The 1967th returns amidst a historic period for the Wisconsin National Guard. Approximately 35 Soldiers from the West Bend-based Detachment 1, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation remain deployed to the Middle East in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Spartan Shield conducting medevac missions across the theater.

Earlier this month, the 924th Engineer Detachment returned from an overseas deployment to Kuwait. Hundreds of additional Wisconsin National Guard troops returned from deployments to Afghanistan and Ukraine earlier this year as well. In fact, since November 2019, more than 1,200 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard have either deployed or returned from overseas deployments.

sm200625 F LN908 0632— Dr. Saleh Banoita Tourab, Executive Secretary of the Djiboutian Ministry of Health, speaks during a cermony held at Bouffard Hospital in Djibouti City, Djibouti, June 25, 2020. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), donated 60 beds valued at $9,400 to the Djiboutian Ministry of Health for its efforts during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Murakami)

Approximately 150 Soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company returned to Wisconsin in September after a yearlong mobilization that spanned the Middle East and Afghanistan. Another 400 Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry returned from a mobilization to Afghanistan in waves over the spring and summer, while the 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters and roughly 160 Soldiers returned from a deployment to Ukraine in August after serving as the headquarters element for training advisors to the Ukrainian military.

Those overseas deployments are all in addition to the thousands of Wisconsin National Guard troops mobilized here in Wisconsin in 2020.

More than 1,400 Wisconsin National Guard members were mobilized at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic response operating COVID-19 testing sites, running self-isolation facilities, managing logistics, manning a warehouse and distributing critical PPE shipments, and more. More than 700 remain on duty in support of the COVID-19 pandemic in the largest sustained domestic mobilization in the Wisconsin National Guard’s history.

Thousands more assisted the Wisconsin Elections Commission as poll workers in four separate elections in April, May, August, and November as COVID-19 fears resulted in a mass shortage of volunteers to staff polling places statewide.

Additionally, thousands of troops have assisted civil authorities in preserving public safety amidst multiple instances of civil unrest over the course of the spring, summer, and fall in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Green Bay, and Wauwatosa.

Also, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews deployed to California for more than a month in September and October to help battle wildfires there.

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